Antonio Brown issued yet another lengthy statement on social media Friday essentially begging NFL teams to give him another shot, and several New England Patriots players rushed to show support for him once again.
In his latest Instagram post, Brown acknowledged some of his past mistakes and called his behavior “inexcusable.” He also said he regrets the way he handled himself after “false information and allegations” came out.
“I do take full responsibility for my actions and I’m working everyday to repair what I broke,” Brown wrote. “I do know that if I’m ever given the opportunity to play the game that I love, I’m going to work extremely hard to show the world how much I appreciate another chance. To the organizations that I offended, I offer my sincere apology to you and my hope is that you forgive me and help me move on from this minor setback. I look forward to competing and helping a team reach their goals.”
As has often been the case when Brown posts on social media this season, a number of prominent Patriots players “liked” the post. Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, James White and Stephon Gilmore were among them.
Tom Brady and several other prominent Patriots players once again showed support for Antonio Brown’s latest Instagram apology (via IG: jayward09) pic.twitter.com/GIS1vXSpQi
Just as coaching staffs have been analyzing their Super Bowl opponents and formulating gameplans, fans and pundits are looking at matchups and potential talking points for the big game. There’s a lot to digest in a matchup of Bill Belichick and Sean McVay, along with the numerous weapons both coaches have at their disposal.
Which players will matter most, though? There are several names who could flip the game if they play at their best. Here are ten key players to look out for once Super Bowl LIII kicks off.
10) C.J. Anderson, RB, Rams
It’s become abundantly clear over the course of the playoffs that Anderson has a big role in the Los Angeles offense, particularly as a vertical runner. He outran Todd Gurley against the Cowboys and got significantly more carries against the Saints. How they’ll choose to deploy him against the Patriots remains to be seen, but there’s little doubt that Anderson is in line for a major role as they try to keep the New England defense and scheme on its toes.
NFL players don’t walk onto the field as rookies and immediately become stars. They have to prove their worth on the field. Some have to bounce from team to team, and some were never even expected to be stars in the first place. Everyone gets there a different way, and every story is unique.
The 2018 NFL season has seen its share of breakout players. Some are rookies who were highly-anticipated but had to prove it on the field, while some were players once feared to be busts but finally put it together. Others were never expected to be anything more than squad players or roster filler, but have shown themselves to be capable of a whole lot more.
Here is each team’s biggest breakout player from the 2018 season.
Arizona Cardinals — Christian Kirk, WR
The rookie was only a second-round pick, but Kirk has offered the Cardinals some hope that their offense has a future beyond just Josh Rosen. Though he’s still searching for his first 100-yard game, he has several solid outings to his name, and has caught 3 touchdowns. He’s quickly become one of Rosen’s favorite targets and has racked up 536 yards receiving. He could end up in the 800-yard range when his season is over — a very solid rookie campaign.
If you like NFL upsets, you probably enjoyed Week 10. Some big names went down, often in surprising fashion, and some lesser teams lost in ways that are going to put their coaches firmly on the hottest of hot seats. One team also suffered a potentially serious injury that could have major implications in the postseason.
Who disappointed in Week 10? Here’s a look at 15 teams, players, and situations.
Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
The Raiders’ offense remained weak on Sunday, with most of their yardage coming in garbage time. Carr threw for 243 yards, but failed to find the end zone and did nothing terribly positive of note. One play in the fourth quarter may serve as the perfect microcosm of Oakland’s 2018 season. On 4th and 5, Carr seemed to lose track of the game situation and threw the ball away, not realizing that doing so would cause a turnover on downs. That’s the Raiders in a nutshell.
The best players in sports don’t always have the highest salaries, and the Super Bowl is no different. For every Fletcher Cox, Alshon Jeffery and Stephon Gilmore making the big bucks, there are guys who made about $10 million less per year and still make a huge impact. For some of those players, big paydays will be coming this offseason. For others, being a bargain is part of what makes them so great.
Here are the 10 players from Super Bowl LII who are the biggest bargains for their team. All salary figures come courtesy of Spotrac.com.
10. Trey Flowers, DE, Patriots
Base salary: $615,000 Cap hit: $754,733
On a team that struggles to get to the quarterback, Flowers has emerged as the best pass-rusher. A fourth-round pick in 2015, Flowers sat out his entire rookie season with an injury but has consistently produced since. He had 6.5 sacks in the regular season this year after piling up seven a year ago, and he added two forced fumbles and 45 total tackles in 2017. He also helped stuff the run late in a comeback win over the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game. If New England wants to make Nick Foles uncomfortable early on Sunday, Flowers may be the guy they look to.
Anything can happen in one single NFL game. Little-known players can have the game of their lives as they step up and play like a star. That’s true even in high-profile games like the Super Bowl. All you have to do is look at the list of MVPs for confirmation of that. You have your usual luminaries — Tom Brady has won the award four times, Eli Manning has claimed it twice, and Von Miller has his name on it as well. However, you can also spot lesser-known names like Dexter Jackson for Tampa Bay in 2003 and Malcolm Smith beating out everyone from the famed Legion of Boom to claim the honor in 2014 for the Seattle Seahawks. When the Patriots won the Super Bowl last season, it was James White with a huge game. In their victory over Seattle, Malcolm Butler stepped up with the play of the game.
Which under-the-radar players could take Super Bowl LII by storm? Here’s a look at ten candidates.
1) James White, RB, Patriots
White doesn’t get a ton of carries, but you’ll remember what he’s capable of if you watched last year’s Super Bowl. He’s the Patriots’ primary backfield receiving threat, and while he’s not going to get a ton of carries, only three Patriots had more receptions this season than White did. He’s already proven once that he’s capable of changing a playoff game. The Eagles will have to take care to ensure that he doesn’t do it to them as well.
The list of New England Patriots players who are going to pass on visiting the White House to be honored for their Super Bowl victory continues to grow.
Linebacker Dont’a Hightower, one of the heroes of Super Bowl LI, said Wednesday that he will not be taking the trip to Washington, D.C. It should be noted that Hightower did not visit the White House when the Patriots won it all two years ago, either.
"Been there, done that," Dont'a Hightower said, also noting he didn't go to White House in 2014 w/ Pats. Had previously been with Alabama.
Tight end Martellus Bennett and defensive back Jason McCourty have already said they will not go to the White House, and running back James White told Alex Marvez of Sporting News on Tuesday that he has yet to decide what he will do.
White had a Super Bowl record 14 catches for 110 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime. Hightower had a huge strip-sack in the second half that helped the Patriots mount a comeback.